“Stone Maidens” by Lloyd Devereux Richards is a thriller about a string of serial murders in the Midwest. A lot of young girls are missing there. Later they found with their internal organs removed and replaced with carved stone figurines in their throats. The case is being led by FBI Special Agent Christine Prusik, a forensic anthropologist with a background in native New Guinean tribes and their cannibalistic practices. This case, her first as the lead investigator, is particularly difficult for Christine as the method of the killings seems to mimic her past research on native New Guineans.
As the investigation progresses, a suspect is identified, but Christine begins to question if the Bureau has made a mistake. She must unravel the clues and make sense of the evidence, which doesn’t seem to match the circumstantial evidence leading to the suspect’s arrest. Christine’s past experiences and knowledge of the native New Guineans become a key factor in solving this case and catching the murderer before another girl goes missing.
The author’s background as a law clerk in the Indiana Court of Appeals is evident in the inside knowledge of murder cases and the investigative process found in the book. The story raises questions about genetic inevitability and leaves the reader to decide. The fast pace of the book will keep the reader engaged and turn the last page with a racing pulse.
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